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Shigeru Miyamoto talks online connectivity, Wii U's future

To Shigeru Miyamoto, the most exciting thing about games right now is online play and connectivity. This may sound strange coming from the Nintendo figurehead, whose company was among the last to jump into the deep end of internet-enabled consoles with Wii U and 3DS.

That's because the water just wasn't right yet, Miyamoto told the New York Times.

"For a long time at Nintendo we didn’t focus as much on online play because for many years doing so would have limited the size of the audience that could enjoy those features. But certainly now we see that so many people are connected to the Internet. It opens up a tremendous amount of possibilities."

Unfortunately for Nintendo, that expanded audience hasn't been as hot to adopt Wii U as it was its predecessor. NPD estimates put January's U.S. sales for the system at 59,000 units maximum, lower than any of the previous-gen consoles had in any month.

Miyamoto said he "would want to see it performing with probably a little more momentum," but he's not concerned with its long-term performance yet. Even though dedicated game consoles may lose some territory to mobile devices, Miyamoto said the company is investing in the living room for the long haul.

"Nintendo’s stance, over all, is that we don’t know where entertainment will take us next. We look at it in terms of what kinds of experiences do families want in the living room in front of the TV? Because we don’t think that families are going to go away, and we don’t think that TVs are going to go away."

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9 comments

  • sxh967 - March 14, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    Who exactly are Nintendo marketing the Wii U to? Honestly! It's too expensive to tickle the taste buds of the casuals who bought the Wii (£300 is a big jump from £180) It's too complicated to tickle the taste buds of the casuals who bought the Wii. (Touch screen many buttons vs a magic wand that does everything) It doesn't have the kinds of games to tickle the taste buds of the casuals who bought the Wii. (WTF Nintendoland is garbage) It's not enough of a leap in terms of power to tickle the taste buds of the hardcore who regretted buying (or didn't buy) a Wii. It tries to be hardcore to cater to the hardcore gamers but (except Bayonetta 2) only has games that have been out for other platforms for a while already (Batman... COD... Fifa...). I'm not a doom and gloom kind of guy and I really want Nintendo to do well. When they bring something good it's amazing (I'm talking original DS) but the Wii U is seriously not being marketed properly. The thing is... who IS going to buy it? It seems like the only people who want a Wii U are the diehard Nintendo fans. I know there are quite of lot you out there but are your purchases enough to balance their books?
  • ParagonT - March 13, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    Sounds like an excuse of why they missed the train all these years.
  • JarkayColt - March 13, 2013 5:38 a.m.

    Is this not the same manner of "excuse" that Nintendo had for deciding to not make the Wii an HD system? I don't know...sometimes it's best to get in on these things early and Nintendo clearly missed the boat. I like that they're actually trying, but it just feels like they're having to conform to the new standard rather than making much of an actual choice. Not hating on Nintendo; just saying. They need more games by this point with online capabilities as good as, say, Mario Kart.
  • Arobadope - March 13, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    When the Wii released there weren't that many HDTVs in households though so actually at that time it did make some sense. 3-4 years later did it still make sense? No not at all, but at the time it did. As for the online, Nintendo has actually had an online component since the Wii and DS so this article is pretty misleading, the only thing they really added in was Miiverse and they improved it a bit, but other than that it's still the same thing.
  • CUFCfan616 - March 13, 2013 2:03 a.m.

    Unfortunately for Nintendo, it's now embedded in 'hardcore' gamers minds that a Nintendo system is for kids games and casual family games, and for the casual gamers who bought the Wii primarily for Wii Fit probably won't buy another console for another 5-10 years as they don't view it as a necessary thing to upgrade. Only a large amount of AAA exclusives will bring the masses that would usually go for a PS4 for XBox 720 but I can't see that really happening apart from the usual Mario and Zelda games. I hope it won't happen, but I can see the day when Nintendo do a Sega and turn to just software development and producing games or maybe just focusing on handheld systems
  • Arobadope - March 13, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Oh god not another Nintendo is doom nutcase.
  • FoxdenRacing - March 13, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    I'm glad he put 'hardcore' in quotes. I've bled pixels for 25 years, and WiiU is my first choice for next gen. Sony has to re-earn my trust and respect. I really don't like where Microsoft's going. Nintendo's got the benefit of the doubt...what they have to do is not screw it up, and they'll get my money.
  • CUFCfan616 - March 13, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    not Nintendo is doom, but rather they shouldn't expect to see they same amount of sales that they got with the Wii for the above reasons. The Wii was a great success, but it was a once off thing I think
  • Linktoreality - March 12, 2013 11:53 p.m.

    I supported them day one, so I've done my part. Keep on keeping on, Miyamoto!

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